Who can Opt out of the Conduct Regulations?
Under Regulation 32, workers that provide their services through a company (i.e. a personal service company or umbrella company) are entitled to opt out of the Conduct Regulations provided they are not working with children or vulnerable adults. Where there has been a valid opt-out, the provisions of the Conduct Regulations will not apply. Furthermore, under Regulation 32(13), an employment business cannot make the provision of work finding services conditional upon a PSC opting out of the Conduct Regulations. Agency workers, self-employed workers and permanent candidates cannot opt out of the Conduct Regulations and PSC workers cannot opt out if they’re going to be working with vulnerable people.
How can we ensure the opt out is valid?
In order for there to be a valid opt-out;
The notice must be signed by both the PSC/Umbrella and the individual worker and must be given to the employment business;
Notice must be in writing;
Must be in place before the start of any assignment; and
The recruitment company must notify the client of the opt-out arrangement before it supplies the contractor to the client. If the client isn’t informed before the start date, the opt out isn’t valid.
Can umbrella workers opt out of the conduct regulations?
The Conduct Regulations also apply to umbrellas. Although it is possible to opt-out of the regulations as an umbrella, the opt out was designed with individual limited company contractors in mind and not those who are employees of an umbrella. For an opt-out to be effective, any declaration of intent to opt-out must be signed by both the contractor as the “work seeker” and a representative of the umbrella company.